March 25th is Annunciation Day of the Virgin Mary, also known as Våffeldagen or Waffle Day in Sweden. Celebrated with family and friends, Swedes gather to eat fluffy heart-shaped waffles with whipped cream and berries. According to Radio Sweden, the holiday also marks the beginning of Spring for the country.
The holiday started when the local dialect mispronounced the name for Annunciation Day according to the Swedish Embassy:
This day was in some places more commonly known as "our-lady day", vårfrudagen, as in this dialect was pronounced as våfferdagen, easily related to våffeldagen.
The Waffle day is an old tradition with its roots in the agricultural Sweden. Back then, Sweden was a poor country and food was not always granted for the day. The ingredients for waffles were simple, common, and inexpensive; water and some flour, for more luxury waffles eggs were added to the batter. Still not much was needed in order to make a dinner into a feast. Since the day is celebrated in spring time when the hens just start to lay eggs, fresh eggs were available again after a long winter.
The New Old Thing blog explains the origins of the date March 25th:
[It is] the day on which the archangel Gabriel announced to Mary that she would conceive a child, the Son of God. Why March 25th? The date was arrived at by the following highly scientific calculation:
1. Everybody knows that Jesus was born on Christmas Day, December 25th.
2. Everybody also knows that pregnancy lasts nine months.
3. Nine months before Christmas is March 25th.
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